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Untitled Document

Residential Council Minutes :: March 10, 2009

Present: James Reed (Chair), Greg Anderson (Policy Chair), Ben Lowell (Lottery Chair), Jillian Robbins (Secretary), Sophie Asher, Jerry Cedrone, EJ Chung, Chaz Kelsh, Adam Lewin

Absent: Mark Fuller (Excused), Jane Zhang (Excused)

Guests: Dean Tom Forsberg, Natalie Basil, Associate Director of Residential Life

  • Last Thursday (March 5, 2009), Greg and Jillian attended a meeting hosted by Dean Richard Bova concerning IPTV and television on campus next year:

    • Greg and Jillian were the student representatives from Residential Council
      • four other students were in attendance (from UCS)
    • Faculty members from CIS talked about what, technologically, is required for IPTV
    • Next year, Brown will no longer have cable television
    • IPTV will be the only source of television on campus
    • To watch IPTV on a physical television, there must be a connection between the computer and the television
    • Dean Bova is going to ensure that there is a set top box (which will convert the program from IPTV on a computer to the television) in each lounge
      • we talked about the possibility of putting these boxes in common rooms of suites
    • We talked a lot about increasing international television content for educational and entertainment purposes
      • international channels are comparatively inexpensive to broadcast
    • We talked about adding additional sports and entertainment channels, but many of these channels are incredibly expensive to broadcase
    • The Office of Residential Life would like to have a service in place to provide set top boxes to Brown students
      • students will most likely be able to rent set top boxes, although a specific rental policy has yet to be determined
    • What is a reasonable rental price? What would students be willing to pay?
    • Should we have students pay a deposit at the beginning of the school year that can be given back to the student if the set top box is returned to the Office of Residential Life in the spring?
    • In theory, students could individually purchase a slingbox or use an S cable to connect their computer to a television - would students choose these options instead of renting a set top box from Brown?

    Natalie Basil then came to talk to us about Interfaith House, as they did not meet their membership requirement through this year's recruitment process that all Program Houses have to maintain:

    • In this year's recruitment process, all Greek and Program houses were able to meet their membership requirements except for Interfaith House, which, for next year, only anticipates having 7 members
      • membership requirements are based on in-house living
    • What recommendations can we provide to them to increase membership?
    • If, next year, all members live on the first floor of their program house, they will occupy 3 singles and 2 doubles
      • should they maintain their type B status and have exclusive rights to the lounge and kitchen?
    • Will this low membership number prevent the house from thriving next year?
    • These students are well aware that 7 is well below the target number that they were trying to reach, and want to be able to enter the housing lottery if they cannot continue as a program house next year
    • Should we make an exception for this house and allow them to still try and recruit new members?
    • Will they be able to put programming together as a house with only 7 members?
    • Should we take away their type B status and make them a type A program house?
      • type A houses still have priority in relation to lounge and kitchen use
      • as a type A house, they would still have the same community service and event requirements that type B houses have
      • these events would be crucial for them to regain their type B status
    • This decision has to be made this week
    • These students should be briefed on the differences between type A and type B houses, and then should decide if they think they can meet the requirements of type A houses
      • it is possible that they will choose to enter lottery
    • We shouldn't decide to dissolve Interfaith House because of one year of low recruitment
    • It is possible that many of the current members who are not returning to Interfaith House will still be involved in activities and programming - they may just not want to live there anymore
    • We should recommend that they speak with faith-based student groups to see if there is an interest in the residential component that Interfaith House provides
    • We could give them type A status for this year (as a probationary year), and give them the target of doubling their membership next year
      • then, once they return to having a minimum of 20 members, they can ask for their type B status back
      • They do have support from the Chaplin's Office
    • ResLife should allow these students to go through lottery if they so desire
      • this will probably end the possibility of Interfaith House returning in the near future
      • however, if they want to return, they could go through an expedited re-application process (but this does NOT guarantee that Interfaith House will automatically be re-established)
    • If we want to help them recruit, they should remain living on Wriston


End of Meeting

Submitted by Jillian Robbins, Residential Council Secretary 2008-2009